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Georgia wrongful death: Family wins suit against Toyota

A jury has ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against Toyota. The automaker was faced with lawsuits in Georgia, and across the country, due to their acceleration system. An acceleration incident claimed the life of a woman after an accident that occurred back in 2007. The deceased woman's family was awarded millions from their wrongful death lawsuit.

Due to a defect in the throttle system, the car had accelerated without command from the driver. The plaintiffs and their attorney stated that Toyota had knowledge of the defect and neglected to correct pertinent issues. The fatal event unfolded when a woman and her passenger were traveling along the roadway when, all of a sudden, the vehicle started to accelerate beyond the driver's control. In the terrifying accident, the vehicle slammed into a wall, causing severe injuries to the driver and killing the passenger.

The jury awarded the injured driver and the family of the deceased $3 million. In addition to the judgment, Toyota will also be ordered to pay an undetermined amount in punitive damages. The jury found that Toyota ultimately failed to adequately have concern for their consumers. The court found Toyota to be negligent in a manner that caused or contributed to a death and injury.

In this case, the court deemed the negligent party to be the automaker, who had previously been made aware of their vehicle's potentially dangerous and fatal defects. The families of victims who have died due to a defective system in a Toyota, or any other vehicle, retain the right to file wrongful death claims against the automakers. The civil court system in Georgia typically adjudicates these types of claims and awards appropriate damages as it deems appropriate.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Jury hits Toyota with $3-million verdict in sudden acceleration death case, Ken Bensinger and Jerry Hirsch, Oct. 24, 2013

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